the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Newsday--my local newspaper--wants to know if my turkey has chutzpah?
Chutzpah or chutzpeh means brazenness, gall or nerve.

Ruth and Bob Grossman defined ‘hutzpah' as follows:  What Molly had when, just before she went down to a size 18 dress, she bought a bikini.

Marnie Winston-Macauley ("The Joys of Yiddish") writes, "Mrs. Farber had the chutzpah to shlep her own turkey to our house on Thanksgiving."

Many Jews and non-Jews and their language associated turkeys with chickens. So, a speaker might pronounce the word for turkey as "hindik," not "indik," which may indicate that they associate the  bird with the chicken, the Yiddish word for which is "hon."

So, let's look at these Yiddish words:

"kalter indik" (cold turkey)
"tzu reyden tachlis" (to talk turkey)
"holdern" (to gobble; to make the sound of a turkey)

The Butterball's Turkey Talk Line is adding men to its holiday hotline. 
The line has grown from six operators to about 60, but has never hired men.
Yes, more and more men are involved in Thanksgiving dinner.  One in four calls are from men.  So any man with a background in food or nutrition or who has a culinary degree can apply.

What kinds of questions should a spokesman be prepared to answer? this year?

  1.  What is "Thanksgivukkah"?  (This year's convergence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah has been trademarked as "Thanksgivukkah."

  2. What is the best way to thaw a frozen ("farfroyrn") turkey? Johnny Carson said, "Blow in its ear." Carson also said, "A two-pound turkey and a fifty-pound cranberry--that's Thanksgiving dinner at Three-Mile Island."

  3. In what TV sitcom did Robert confront Peter during the Thanksgiving pageant, rip off his shirt, and proclaim, "I'm Squanto!"?  (In this same sitcom, Marie makes a tofu turkey.  Ray, behind Marie's back, orders a complete holiday dinner.) Answer:  "Everybody Loves Raymond"

The following are true conversations heard by Talk-Line staffers:

A disappointed woman called wondering why her turkey had no "brust" (breast)
meat.  After a conversation with the Talk-Line operator, it became apparent that the woman's turkey was lying on the table "mitn kop arop" (upside down).
Note:  You can't make up a story like this!

And the final Thanksgiving story:

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at her supermarket, but couldn't find one big enough for her family.  She asked a stock boy, "Do these turkeys get any bigger?"  The stock boy replied, "No ma'am, they're dead!"

"Dos iz alts."  (That's all.)
MARJORIE GOTTLIEB WOLFE wishes her readers a Happy Thanksgiving/ "Thanksgivukkah."


Search for Stories Beginning with the Letter
N O P Q R S T U V W   Y Z
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

Yiddish Stuff
Jewish Humor
Schmooze News
More Majorie Wolfe
Jewish Stories
All Things Jewish
Jewish Communities of the World
Site Designed and Maintained by
Haruth Communications